Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Feb 5:
The Archaeological Survey of India’s (ASI) excavation branch has resumed exploration work at Suabarai village in Poparanga Panchayat of Odisha’s Puri district to unearth the Chalcolithic civilisation after getting a go-ahead from its headquarters.
On June 6, 2014, an ASI team had stumbled upon skeletal remains of birds and wild animals, teeth, horns and earthen chulha during excavation at the site at Suabarai indicating possible existence of a human civilization in the area over 3000 years dating back to the Chalcolithic or Copper Age.
The exploration team had found an ancient mound around 2 KM away from Suabarai village located on the southern end off Dhauli hills on the bank of the Daya river on the outskirts of Bhubaneswar, known as the site of the historical Kalinga war.
The team was excited by the initial findings at the site where earthen pots, fragments of pots made of red soil and other ancient stones were found in the first phase. During the second phase of exploration, deer antler, two animal teeth measuring 2-inch each and skeletal remains of birds and animals were found.
After getting approval from higher officials of the ASI, the regional unit here has embarked on the exploration work to unravel the mystery of history.
The famous Kalinga war that took place around 262 BC on the banks of Daya river, which killed over 1, 00, 000 people on either side, is indicative of the fact that there existed a human civilisation which got wiped out in course of time, a member of the exploration team said.
It may be recalled that two 4-feet tall ancient idols were recovered from near the exploration site under a neem tree on April 14, 2013. The villagers have been worshipping the idols at Suabarai village since then.
Exploration work has resumed under the supervision of Deputy Director of ASI, Jeevan Kumar Patnaik. The Regional Director (East Zone) of ASI, Phanikanta Mishra formally inaugurated the exploration work.
A technical team comprising archaeologists Sanjay Panda and Er Suvendu Kumar Khuntia has been on the job to find evidence of human civilisation at the site.
Notably, a team from the Anthropology department in Utkal University in Bhubaneswar had unearthed two human skeletons at Banga in Harirajpur area under Delanga block in Puri district in 2013.The remnants were said to be around 3,500 to 4,000 years old from the Chalcolithic age civilization.
‘‘There existed a human civilisation at the exploration site around 3,000-5,000 years ago,’’ Patnaik said.
With the resumption of exploration work, the local people are excited about the findings of the Copper Age civilisation.
Meanwhile, makeshift camps have been erected near the site at Suabarai to house the excavation team staff. This would continue till the onset of rainy season, officials said.